The Russians insist on the construction of a new pipeline to bypass Ukraine, the Europeans don’t mind

The Ukrainians hated the idea of building a new pipeline around the country, but the European politicians and heads of energy companies, it seems, don’t care.


“If the pipeline “Nord stream — 2″ is built, that’s bad news for Ukraine. It’s bad for Naftogaz. Russia will bypass us in the future, if built,” says Andriy KOBOLEV, CEO of Naftogaz, a company that receives a large share of their income from the transit of Russian gas to Europe. Naftogaz accounts for almost 10% of Ukraine’s GDP.


On Sunday, the European Commission received a mandate to negotiate with Russia on the construction of the pipeline “Nord stream — 2” through the Baltic sea. There is already a gas pipeline “Northern stream — 1”. New will be laid next to the first. The supplier of this gas, mostly state-run Russian gas giant Gazprom, said that the new pipeline is a way to provide Europe with natural gas supplies when necessary. But political leaders and gas industry of Ukraine, for example, COBOL, believe that Russia will use the pipeline as one that builds together with the Turkish BOTAS Petroleum to reduce dependence on Ukraine as a transit country for gas supplies to southern Europe. Some believe that in this way Russia wants to punish Ukraine because the country is moving closer to Europe and away from Russia.

“The Commission adopted the mandate, and today we have to present it to the participating countries,” — said Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for energy maroš Šefčovič (Maroš Šefčovič). According to him, the Commission is likely to reconsider plans to build the pipeline in September.

Russian energy Minister Alexander Novak told the news Agency ITAR-TASS that he has not yet seen the document, on the basis of which the Commission will make the decision. “Our position is that this is a commercial project in the private sector,” he said.

Ukraine and Russia are practically at war in 2014 when Pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych renounced the European trade agreement in favor of cheaper Russian natural gas. When it became clear that Vladimir Putin advised Yanukovych to abandon the European deal, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians took to the streets in protest. Yanukovych was removed from office. The revolution of Euromaidan, one of many in Ukraine after independence, eventually led to the fact that Russia annexed the Crimea after local residents allegedly voted to secede from Kiev. According to Europe and the USA, it also happened at the Council of Moscow. Washington and Brussels have imposed sanctions against Russian energy and financial companies for supporting separatists in Eastern Ukraine, a region which, in the opinion of Russia, is a part of her family. This family dispute has had international repercussions. Russia believes that the West interfere in her household. Ukraine and the West think differently. From the very beginning, three and a half years ago, it was a losing battle.

European sanctions do not apply to energy companies or, in any case, do not prohibit the construction of pipelines to Europe.

Work is scheduled to begin in 2019. The pipeline will connect Russia with Germany via the Baltic sea. Capital costs are estimated at around 10 billion euros.

6 June, Gazprom said it signed a deal to loan financing in the amount of 6.65 billion euros. The loan is expected to provide up to 70% of the project. The project involves two German companies.

Angela Merkel supported the new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, has repeatedly met with him to discuss the peace process with Russia and financial assistance. Partners of Gazprom in the new project of steel Engie (France), OMV (Austria), Shell and the German company Wintershall and Uniper.